BY MATT TUCK
From the return of Bat-fleck in “The Killing Joke” and Flashpoint’s endless possibilities to the Justice League Snyder Cut final trailer, DC has piqued fans’ interests. Here are ten of the most talked-about rumors and theories for the upcoming DCEU slate.
The DCEU has a lot riding on Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League. The massively-hyped extended edition is only weeks away from its HBO Max premiere, and it could determine the future of DC’s cinematic universe. If it is a success, then it will light an even bigger fire under the reinvigorated DCEU that was almost scrapped after the original theatrical release of Justice League. At the same time, if fans are disappointed, it could derail quite a few plans for the future of the DC movie and television brand.
With that in mind, let’s explore ten of the more intriguing rumors and theories the DCEU has to offer.
10. JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK
This may be the oldest rumor on today’s list. Years ago, Guillermo Del Toro reportedly wrote an entire JL Dark script and pitched it to Warner Brothers. Of course, it did not come to fruition, but supposedly he has not given up on the project. With the MCU moving more into the supernatural realm, Time-Warner would do well to fast-track a JL Dark movie or HBO Max series before the MCU beats them to the punch with Midnight Sons.
9. THE BATMAN’S MYSTERY VILLAIN
Ever since the first trailer for Matt Reeves’ The Batman dropped, the speculation has been rampant. There is a hooded figure dressed in green and sporting what appear to be goggles that has baffled fans. The most common suggestion has been that this is an updated version of the Riddler, especially since he is wearing green and apparently leaving clues in envelopes, not to mention a reported Mountain Dew ad leak that made its rounds last month. But could there be something else at work here? The Court of Owls could be lurking in the shadows.
The hood and the goggles are consistent with a newer Batman villain, Talon. Could it be that this is a take on the master assassin of the Court of Owls? That is a distinct possibility. Reeves is clearly attempting a Batman story unlike any we have seen before, and the Court of Owls would deliver just that.
8. DOCTOR FATE
Amidst all the Batman and Justice League news, it is easy to forget about Black Adam. We already know part of that movie will be set in Ancient Egypt, and Hawkman will be joining the cast. That leaves the door open for another superhero with Egyptian ties, Doctor Fate. Last fall, word spread that the Black Adam producers were looking to officially cast Doctor Fate in the movie, but nothing has been reported since then.
7. THE JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
Black Adam is clearly setting the stage for another superhero team movie.
Before there was a Justice League of America, the Golden Age had the Justice Society of America. Audiences have seen the JSA in various animated projects over the years, and the team made an appearance on Smallville.
Could it be time for the JSA to get a big-budget, CGI-epic in the DCEU? Black Adam already has Hawkman and Atom Smasher in the lineup, and with Cyclone and Doctor Fate being added to the cast in the near future, the film will prepare the world for the JSA.
Only two years since she made her comic debut, the Joker’s new girlfriend/enforcer is being rumored to star in her own live-action series on HBO Max. This comes from the word on the internet that Time-Warner has an untitled Batman project in development. It has been rumored that this could be a spinoff from The Batman and center on the Gotham PD, but the persistent talk is that it will star Punchline.
5. BATMAN BEYOND
All the Batman speculation could just about make a list all on its own. Well before the Flashpoint casting was announced, Kevin Smith got the rumor mill churning in 2019 when he proposed that Michael Keaton reprise his role as Bruce Wayne for a live-action Batman Beyond movie. Lo and behold, Keaton IS returning as Bruce Wayne for Flashpoint, and that has Batman Beyond fans wondering if a live-action movie is on the board.
4. THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS
The Green Lantern Corps is being positioned to become a major force in the DCEU.
The details surrounding the HBO Max GL series are gradually emerging, and there continues to be speculation of a Hal Jordan/John Stewart interstellar buddy-cop movie in the works.
Long before there was an HBO Max streaming platform, Geoff Johns spoke of writing and directing a Green Lantern Corps feature film. Despite the GL series that is in production, the idea for a GL Corps movie lingers on. The possibility is that the movie and the HBO Max series could tie together with a Hal/John film, and that could make Green Lantern the centerpiece of the DCEU.
Just when we thought Joss Whedon had killed the Snyder-verse after Justice League, word came down the pike that Ezra Miller would star in a Flash solo movie. Then the internet lost its collective mind when DC revealed that Flashpoint would see Barry Allen traverse the multiverse. Since then, Miller made a cameo appearance on CW’s The Flash, and Michael Keaton was added to the Flashpoint cast. Then came more exciting news when Ben Affleck was officially announced for the film as yet another parallel universe Batman.
Having Flash race across the multiverse and venture into alternate timelines creates a path for anything and everything to happen. This leaves so much to the imagination. It will obviously tie the disjointed DC movies from years past together, but it introduces other theories as well. Jeffrey Dean Morgan has been rumored to portray the Thomas Wayne Flashpoint Batman. Who knows? Flashpoint could even set up the Dark Multiverse and the Batman Who Laughs.
2. THE DEATH AND RETURN OF THE SNYDER-VERSE
The final trailer has dropped, and we are a month away from seeing Zack Snyder’s vision of Justice League. It looks like a completely different movie with a much darker tone thanks to Darkseid, along with Martian Manhunter and another change from the Joss Whedon version. There has been word for a year that Ryan Reynolds will reprise his role as Hal Jordan for a cameo, but there is more.
The biggest reveals from the trailer have been the addition of Jared Leto portraying a long-haired Joker alongside Ben Affleck’s Batman. That lends credence to the theory that the Snyder-verse could be alive and well if his version of Justice League is a crowd pleaser.
1. THE KILLING JOKE
Last year, the word coming from Time-Warner was that the Justice League rehash will be Snyder’s swan song. However, there have been persistent rumors that the excitement over the Snyder cut prompted WB executives to reconsider Affleck as Batman. After Michael Keaton was announced for Flashpoint, Affleck’s name soon followed. Now there are unsubstantiated reports that Bat-fleck and Leto will costar in a live-action adaptation of Alan Moore’s masterpiece, “The Killing Joke.”
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is also a teacher, freelance writer, comic collector, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.